by Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen Today, many thermostats offer great new technologies and can do things thermostats of the past simply could not do. That said, it’s certainly worth asking if these new thermostats can save enough money to justify the extra cost. Let’s start by looking at the three main options for thermostats:… Continue reading.
by James Dulley When it’s cold out, my home feels very chilly, especially near the windows. I can’t afford energy-efficient replacement windows right now, so can you offer alternative options? If you feel chilly sitting near a window, you’re likely losing energy, which drives up your utility bills. This is also true during the summer… Continue reading.
For many of us, the best holidays involve home-cooked meals and wonderful aromas of turkey, stuffing and baked goods wafting throughout the house. It means a busy kitchen and a bustling house full of family and friends. It’s that Norman Rockwell image of “Freedom from Want” — a bountifully-set table surrounded by loved ones. With… Continue reading.
by James Dulley We have a new heat pump, but we have a problem keeping all of the rooms in our home comfortable. Someone is always too hot or too cool. What are some simple methods to even out the temperatures throughout the house? The problem you are experiencing is common, particularly in a two-story… Continue reading.
I plan to hire a contractor to make a few efficiency improvements to my home. I would like a better understanding of how a home loses and gains heat so that I am not persuaded into unnecessary projects. Can you help? It never hurts to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible about the… Continue reading.
Got an old fridge or freezer out in the garage or in the basement? Is it always running — but cooling only a six-pack of beer, some left over fishing bait or a few miscellaneous items you rarely use? If so, you better go catch it … and your electric meter … and your wallet…. Continue reading.
My black asphalt shingle roof needs to be replaced. I want to install a new roof that will last longer and help keep my home cooler during hot summer afternoons. What type of roof do you recommend? From the standpoint of a long life and keeping your home cooler, a black asphalt shingle roof is… Continue reading.
My family is trying to use less air conditioning this summer to save electricity. Do you have any good tips for us so that we are not terribly uncomfortable in our home? There are quite a few free, low-cost improvements and simple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the amount of air conditioning needed…. Continue reading.
We are empty nesters and have decided to build our dream home. What are some of the most energy efficient home construction methods that also offer strength? Severe weather is always a concern in our area. There are several relatively new home construction methods that are much stronger and more efficient than typical insulated, wood… Continue reading.
When severe weather hits, I want to be prepared, and I’m considering purchasing a backup generator for my home. What types would you recommend to take care of the entire house? Purchasing a backup generator is becoming more common. Residential backup generators are called standby models because they are only used when electricity from the… Continue reading.
We are planning to remodel our older home, and I’ve read that increasing thermal mass can improve energy efficiency. What exactly does this mean, and how do we incorporate it into our home? Increasing the thermal mass means increasing the ability of materials to retain heat energy. This can be done anytime, but it is… Continue reading.
My kitchen faucet has a very slow drip and the finish is worn. I want to replace it with one that is attractive and convenient to use. I often wash dishes by hand, so what is the most efficient design to purchase? Most people think of a kitchen faucet as just a simple valve to… Continue reading.
I often feel chilly in my home, especially during the winter months. I know electric resistance heating can be expensive to use, but I really like the idea of in-floor heating. Does it only work with tile flooring, or can it be used under carpet? What types are available? Electric resistance systems are expensive to… Continue reading.